Archive for the TOP FIVES Category

Here are the 30 movies that I watched over Christmas

Posted in TOP FIVES with tags , on January 1, 2017 by Ross McG

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I used to do these all the time.

Just after Christmas, I’d rattle through all the movies I’d gorged on over the holidays and whack em up on this blog.

You can read the past ones here, and for me it’s like delving into a personal past I never knew existed; did I really watch Mamma Mia? And ENJOY it?!

There are some equally disturbing entries (doesn’t that sound like an early 90s psychological thriller in the mould of Single White Female… DISTURBING ENTRY) in the list below, because it was bloomin’ Christmas.

You might not watch the best films ever made around Christmas, but you tend to watch a lot of them. I know I do.

As in previous years, I didn’t watch every one of the movies below in their entirety. Some of them, sure, but others were caught for 15 minutes or half an hour – that’s the beauty of the Christmas TV schedule.

Most of the below were seen on TV, and they are listed in the chronological order in which I viewed them.

If you get the chance, give us your Christmas viewing list in the comments below. Happy new year…

1. Love Actually

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Where better to begin my festive watching than with everyone’s most loved/hated Christmas movie? I love Love Actually, actually – and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Okay, I’m a bit ashamed, but as ashamed as I should be.

2. Trading Places

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This has become a pre-Christmas tradition, dusting off the old DVD and lashing it on a few days before December 25. I lapsed last Christmas, but the two-year gap did me good, as this time round it felt even funnier. Clarence Beeks remains the biggest git in movie history.

3. Scrooged

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My mum took me to see this in the cinema, so it will always have a special place in my heart, which is more than can be said for its star, Bill Murray, who reportedly hated it. Sorry, Bill, you’re wrong.

4. 12 Dates of Christmas

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Uh… okay. This isn’t my usual Christmas fare, but it was lurking on Channel 5 on a boring afternoon so I gave it a go. Amy Smart has always been an underrated comedic actress and Mark-Paul Gosselaar (from the amazing Franklin & Bash – and some show called Saved By The Bell) pops up as the romantic love interest and… it’s really not that bad. Really.

5. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

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From the ridiculous to the sublime. George Roy Hill’s genre-subverting classic wipes the floor with most modern movies. It’s a western where the main hero doesn’t know how to fire a gun and spends most of the running time doing just that: running away (John Wayne would never have played Butch Cassidy). William Goldman’s script still crackles nearly 50 years later.

6. Cool Runnings

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Candy is the man.

7. Holiday in Handcuffs

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Zack Morris isn’t the only Saved By The Beller getting up to some festive antics. In Holiday in Handcuffs, AC Slater is kidnapped by Sabrina the Teenage Witch in a bid to convince her pushy parents that she has a boyfriend for Christmas. It’s absolute drivel, of course, but it killed 20 minutes or so.

8. The Hateful Eight

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Quentin Tarantino’s snowbound chat-then-shoot-em-up is perfect cosy Christmas viewing… as long as you like your turkey’s juices running red. It’s as if the director took the stunning basement bar scene from Inglorious Basterds and decided to make an entire film out of it – and it’s bloody brilliant.

9. Forgetting Sarah Marshall

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I had forgotten Paul Rudd was in this… and how flipping funny the whole thing is.

10. Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa

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The Alan Partridge movie is still a bit hit-and-miss, even on a third viewing, but when it hits it hits hard. ‘What’s your favourite siege?’ – ‘Iranian hostage crisis.’ – ‘Me too!’

11. The Vikings

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What’s your favourite movie with Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis? If you answered with Spartacus, you’re wrong – The Vikings is where it’s at.

12. The Lady in the Van

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I caught the last five minutes of this, and was left as confused as all hell. Just what the heck was going on?

13. Love Actually

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Yes. I watched Love Actually again. Attack me if you dare, I will crush you.

14. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

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PoA finishes with one huge hour-long time-travelling sequence that is exhausting, but it’s also deliciously clever. Hermione’s ‘Does my hair really look like that from the back?’ might be the funniest line in the Potter movies.

15. Pride

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This had me crying bucketloads. The true story of how the LGBT community backed the miners’ strike in the 80s, Pride is rabble-rousing, poignant and hilarious in equal measure, constantly flitting between one of several main characters to always keep you on your toes.

16. Muriel’s Wedding

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I had forgotten how utterly depressing Muriel’s Wedding is until I flicked on the last 40 minutes while late-night Christmas channel hopping, but its depiction of dullness is the film’s secret weapon; life isn’t all bombastic Abba numbers, you know.

17. Death on the Nile

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Just caught the last 15 minutes of this to find out which of the starry cast did it. Peter Ustinov’s Poirot had all the answers, of course.

18. Teen Wolf

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When I was nine, I thought Teen Wolf was the best film ever made and couldn’t possibly be equalled. While I have since learned this not to be the case, it still has its charm. I stayed with it until the classic keg of beer scene, then went outside. I didn’t just watch movies over Christmas, you know.

19. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

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A good few Christmases ago, this was the movie that finally convinced me Harry Potter films were worth watching, and it still holds up, thanks to the stirring action of the Triwizard tournament and a really chilling ending.

20. Love Story

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This one I watched in its entirety. I’d always avoided Love Story in the pigheaded belief it was over-sentimental drivel – how wrong was I? Soon-to-be college sweethearts Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw clash in the very first scene and the whole thing unfolds wonderfully from there, right up to its tear-filled ending.

21. Captain America: Civil War

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This was another full watch. In the cinema, I thought Civil War might be the best Marvel movie yet, but its deficiencies become more apparent on a second viewing. It’s still terrific fun, but it might have elevated itself to the Best Superhero Movie Ever title had it contained any sense of jeopardy. At no point do you worry about the fate of any leading character, which is a shame. The airport bit is fantastic, though.

22. Muppets Most Wanted

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I caught the second half of this on telly, and laughed way more than I thought I would at a film containing large chunks of Ricky Gervais.

23. About Time

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I have a feeling About Time really will stand the test of that word in its title. A bit of a gem.

24. Beaches

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Anyone who dismisses Beaches as a throwaway chick flick is an idiot. It’s not a film about women – it’s a film about friendship; and a funny and beautiful one at that. Guaranteed to make a grown man cry, especially at Christmas.

25. The Great Muppet Caper

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How did they do that bicycle bit in Battersea Park?! So brilliant.

26. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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I watched The Force Awakens while building some Star Wars Lego – that’s how cool I am. I obviously like it if I decided to watch it for a third time, but I do hope they dispense with the action and concentrate more on the characters in the upcoming Episode VIII – there’s almost too much stuff blowing up in The Force Awakens. That bit with the upside down Millennium Falcon and the gun turret though… super.

27. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

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I love a bit of Potter at Christmas, and Half-Blood Prince is quickly becoming my favourite instalment, mainly because it blends the humour and the darkness so beautifully.

28. 84 Charing Cross Road

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This is a film in which Anthony Hopkins and Anne Bancroft write each other letters. That’s all that happens. And it’s kind of great. Rumour has it Michael Bay is circling the remake.

29. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

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My final Potter fix this Christmas. There are some Harry fans who rate this below the frankly unwatchable first two films, which is grossly unfair. Yes, our heroes spend a good deal of the action off the Hogwarts reservation in a tent, but there are so many memorable sequences, particularly Harry’s return to Godric’s Hollow and the magnificent animated tale of The Three Brothers, which is as powerful as anything else in the entire series.

30. You Again

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You’ve seen them kick Michael Myers’ and the Alien queen’s respective asses – now catch Jamie Lee Curtis and Sigourney Weaver together in a bizarre romcom that also features Betty White, Bobby Ewing and, uh, Hall and Oates. I only saw the last ten minutes, but what a perfect way to round off my Christmas movie viewing.

 

WHICH MOVIES DID YOU WATCH OVER CHRISTMAS? TELL US BELOW…

 

The Harry Potter movies ranked on how Christmasy they are

Posted in TOP FIVES with tags , on December 16, 2016 by Ross McG

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This article first appeared on Metro.co.uk

It used to be Indiana Jones.

Every year I’d burrow my way through my Christmas dinner, then very politely ask if I could be excused from the kitchen table to watch my hero.

In 1987, the BBC trailed their Christmas Day showing of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom so heavily that the film was simply unavoidable.

It was the biggest event in Britain’s history – or, at least, it was to me.

Looking back from an internet age where access to any movie is a finger-tap away, it all feels remarkably quaint. I felt privileged to watch a film at home only THREE YEARS after it had been released in cinemas.

And it was only Temple of Doom! Not even Raiders of the Lost Ark or Last Crusade.

Indiana Jones used to be my staple diet at Christmas, and while he still remains a healthy side dish, he has been replaced as the main turkey course by another hero: Harry Potter.

Christmas just isn’t Christmas without at least one visit to Hogwarts – the amount of snow that falls across the entire Harry Potter saga could be used to solve the Arctic’s climate change crisis.

The world of Potter is a wintry one, even though only four of the eight films in the series were actually released in November – the other half were given a date in either May or July.

But which of the movies gives Potter fans the cosiest Christmas feeling inside?

8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

You do know what happens in this one, right? There’s little time for Christmas cheer when people are perishing in battle and Hogwarts is being reduced to rubble.

The sparks from Harry and Voldemort’s wand fight kind of remind me of festive lights (and Return of the Jedi), but that’s about it.

Amazing film, though.

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7. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

This is more like it. While a terrible, terrible film, Chamber of Secrets does bring out the big Christmas guns.

A fleet of horse-drawn carriages ploughing a furrow across a white carpet of snow in a bid to out-Narnia Narnia? You got it.

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And what about some indoor drift down the Great Hall of Hogwarts? Here, have some of that.

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6. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

The pink cardie sported by the terrifying Dolores Umbridge looks like something your gran would grab you from M&S for Christmas, but think of all the blood she has spilled on it over the years while torturing pupils with her Black Quill. It doesn’t really conjure up images of festive fun, does it?

Order of the Phoenix finds more suitable Christmas spirit in Harry’s admittedly ‘wet’ kiss with Cho Chang under the mistletoe.

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Away from the yucky kissy stuff, there’s a heartwarming Weasley family dinner at Grimmauld Place, when Ron gets the usual crap Christmas jumper from his mum. Bless.

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5. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Let’s rewind back to the original Harry Potter film now, and that very first crap Christmas jumper.

The Philosopher’s Stone makes Chamber of Secrets look like The Godfather: Part II, such is the ear-piercing shrill of some of its more unrepeatable dialogue, but it comes up trumps in the festive feelgood stakes.

There’s a lovely sequence where we see Hagrid dragging a Christmas tree through the snow…

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… followed by said tree’s decoration by Filius Flitwick.

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This bit is very subtly soundtracked by the Christmas at Hogwarts carol, which contains the choice lyric:

Find a broomstick in your stocking,
Singing you the magic of this place.
Join the owls joyous flocking,
On this merry Christmas Day.

Later, Ron wakes Harry up on Christmas Day for a spot of wrapping ripping. While Ron has to make do with an R-printed pullover from his mum, jammy little Harry gets a flipping invisibility cloak, the Super Nintendo of Potter presents.

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In Harry’s defence, this is effectively his first Christmas, having been subjected to years of seasonal torment at the hands of the Dursleys (previous sample gift: a box of dog biscuits from Aunt Marge), so the poor tyke has every reason to be excited.

Although technically his cloak is more of a hand-me-down; it later emerges that it once belonged to his dad, but was given to Harry by Dumbledore – come on, Albus, you cheapskate, flash some cash next time!

On a more serious note, Christmas provides a powerful backdrop in the Potter movies, because it shows us Harry’s isolation. There’s no tramping off home for festive frivolities for him – with his parents dead, there’s nowhere to go. Hogwarts isn’t just a school to him, it’s his new home.

So when he asks Ron, ‘I’ve got presents?!’, it’s incredibly poignant.

4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1

If the above sequence jerked a few tears from your eyes, then this next one will leave you swimming in a pool of them.

Many Potter fans dislike the first cinematic instalment of the Deathly Hallows, possibly because a lot of the action takes place away from Hogwarts, and possibly because a lot of that action involves kids camping.

But I for one enjoyed the change of scenery and pace, leaving us with only the beautiful Forest of Dean and Harry, Hermione and Ron dealing with the weight of Horcrux-carrying, which in no way reminded me of Frodo’s burden wearing the One Ring whatsoever, no, not at all.

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The best bit, however, is when Harry and Hermione ditch Ron (good for a laugh, but always the least interesting of the heroic trio), for a spot of Christmas Eve graveyard gazing in Godric’s Hollow, the boy who lived’s birthplace.

Sure enough, they stumble across Harry’s parents’ headstone, and his trademark stoicism shines through once again. No overwrought speeches for our Harry – just some sniffling and a ‘Merry Christmas, Hermione’.

When she replies with her own, ‘Merry Christmas, Harry’, it gets me right in the tear ducts every time.

3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

From the least loved Potter movie to the fans’ most cherished.

Alfonso Cuarón’s film was the first in the series not to be specifically targeted at four-year-olds, and the move paid off in spades, setting the tone for all the instalments that followed.

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I had forgotten, however, just how Christmasy the whole thing is, from the owl swooping past Hogwarts Castle’s clock tower in deep winter to a cloaked Harry hurling snowballs at Draco and co.

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The film also contains the very seasonal sounding Double Trouble on its soundtrack, which is often confused with another John Williams track – itself a variation of a 1914 arrangement by Mykola Leontovych – called Carol of the Bells. That one was in Home Alone.

2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Also known as Carry on Harry, given how everyone’s hormones at Hogwarts are raging.

And there’s no greater aphrodisiac than Christmas, except maybe a Love Potion.

In the Half-Blood Prince, Ginny Weasley gets into the Christmas spirit by teasing a flustered Harry with the offer of a festive mince pie, and there’s a snowy sequence where Harry, Hermione and Ron share a touching group hug after a visit to the pub (right before Katie Bell gets cursed in arguably the scariest scene of the entire series, but we won’t mention that).

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Proving that Christmas parties are almost always awful, Hermione has a torrid time at the Slug Club do, finally fending off the unwanted affections of Cormac McLaggen, who finds Professor Snape’s shoes with a chunk of projectile dragon balls vomit. Lovely.

What is lovely is that Harry goes to the Slug Club Christmas party with Luna Lovegood – I love Luna!

1. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Two words: Yule Ball.

Sorry, four words: The Fricking Yule Ball.

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Who didn’t want to attend this sumptuous Christmas feast, the traditional schmoozefest of the Triwizard Tournament? Yes, one of your friends might die in the tournament itself, but at least you can have a last blast at the ball a few nights beforehand.

There are so many ‘YAY!!’ moments in the Goblet of Fire’s dancing extravaganza it’s hard to keep track, but special mention goes to a set of sweet romantic match-ups (Ginny and Neville! Hagrid and Madame Maxime!) and the band for the night, The Weird Sisters (led by Jarvis Cocker).

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But like every school ball you ever went to, it all ends in tears – and, unfortunately for Hermione Granger, they all come gushing out of her eyes.

It’s not surprising that Ron got jealous of her date for the ball, Viktor Krum – the guy can almost turn into a shark – but did floppy-haired Weasley have to be so moody about it?

Hermione’s tantrum on the steps at the end of the night epitomises the trials of a hundred million teenage girls… why do stupid boys have to be so cruel?

HAPPY CHRISTMAS FROM HOGWARTS!

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Leonardo DiCaprio and 10 other actors who should have an Oscar

Posted in TOP FIVES with tags , on February 27, 2016 by Ross McG

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‘And the Oscar goes to… Leonardo DiCaprio!’

You can expect to hear those words echo around the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood this Sunday, as, after years of waiting, Leo finally gets his hands on an Oscar.

DiCaprio is a hot favourite to pick up Best Actor for his performance in The Revenant, in which he writhes around in the mud a lot and gets a little too cuddly with a bear.

It’s somewhat strange that DiCaprio will (likely) win his Oscar for a role which requires him for long stretches to simply lie in a stretcher. All of his great previous performances, whether it’s proclaiming himself ‘king of the world’ in Titanic or snorting copious amounts of drugs in The Wolf of Wall Street, have been kinetic and dynamic. In The Revenant, he does most of his acting with his eyelids.

THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED ON METRO.CO.UK

DiCaprio is set to be crowned after missing out on an acting Oscar on four previous occasions, for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, The Aviator, Blood Diamond and The Wolf of Wall Street.

It’s looking like fifth time lucky for Leo, but until Sunday night at least, he’s not the only great actor out there who has yet to win an Oscar.

You won’t believe that none of this lot have been honoured by the Academy.

1. Tom Cruise

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The current incarnation of The Cruiser is known for strapping himself to planes and scaling the world’s tallest buildings, but his action man tendencies hide some huge acting chops.

Cruise has come close to Oscar glory with three nominations, each telling its own story. You can’t argue with his performance in Born on the Fourth of July losing out to Daniel Day-Lewis’s in My Left Foot at the 1990 ceremony, but he really should have pipped Geoffrey Rush in the almost forgotten Shine with his brilliant meltdowns in 1996’s Jerry Maguire.

And don’t get me started on Cruise losing out on Best Supporting Actor in 2000 after his amazing work in Magnolia (‘RESPECT THE COCK’) was pipped by Michael Caine’s awful New England accent in sentimental tosh The Cider House Rules.

2. Keira Knightley

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I don’t get the backlash against Knightley and I never will. ‘Oh, she’s always in period dramas!’ her detractors cry, a bit like shouting ‘Oh, you’re always cutting inside from the wing and shooting!’ at Cristiano Ronaldo.

In the early part of her career, Knightley was great in costume dramas – so what if she played to her strengths?

She’s been nominated twice for Oscars – for Best Supporting Actress last year in The Imitation Game (sorry, Cumberbatchers, she was the best thing in it) and for her wonderful turn as Lizzy Bennett in 2005’s Pride & Prejudice.

But it’s her work in The Duchess, Begin Again and the astounding – and astoundingly overlooked – Never Let Me Go that stands out. She’ll get her Oscar soon.

3. Harrison Ford

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How do you get nominated for an Oscar when the world knows you as not one but two movie icons; Indiana Jones and Han Solo?

Well, Harrison Ford managed it with what is probably the best performance of his career – as John Book, the cop among the Amish in Witness (1985). At that point in his career, Ford thought he was done with Solo and wanted to pursue more challenging roles.

This saw a terrific run of late ’80s movies that saw him in The Mosquito Coast, Frantic and Working Girl. He was also terrific in Air Force One and Patriot Games, but political action movies don’t really attract Oscar attention.

In an ideal world, the Oscars would ditch their stuffiness and reward performances that change the course of film history. Ford could have been nominated for his turns in both Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Last Crusade, mainly because he just WAS Indiana Jones.

4. Winona Ryder

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Ryder has a Golden Globe, but – PAH! – who wants one of those? If Hollywood stars keep their Oscar statuettes in their bathrooms, you can guess where they flush their Golden Globes.

Nominated at the Academy Awards in 1994 for Best Supporting Actress (The Age of Innocence) and Best Actress (Little Women) the following year, Ryder probably should have had nods for Edward Scissorhands, The Crucible, Heathers and Black Swan.

But not Alien: Resurrection though, no way.

5. Samuel L Jackson

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When he’s not SHOUTING REALLY LOUDLY, Samuel L Jackson is a damn fine actor. HELL, HE’S A DAMN FINE ACTOR WHEN HE’S SHOUTING TOO!

Cruelly overlooked in his one Best Supporting Actor Oscar nod for Pulp Fiction, Jackson could easily have been nominated for more of his collaborations with Quentin Tarantino. He was sensational in Jackie Brown and absolutely magnetic amid the bloodbath in this year’s The Hateful Eight.

It would be worth giving him an Oscar just to hear his speech.

6. Jessica Chastain

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Jessica plays it cool until her Oscar arrives (Picture: Columbia)

There was a period between 2011 and 2012 in which Jessica Chastain was in every film ever made, which was understandable given she was the best new actress on the block.

Nominated twice for The Help and Zero Dark Thirty, her name in a cast list is always a mark of quality.

Even her non-Oscar chasing stuff excites – check out gripping horror Mama.

7. John Malkovich

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He was in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which is perhaps the only reason the Academy haven’t given John Malkovich his Oscar.

Two nominations is unworthy of an actor of his talent. He wasn’t even shortlisted for his stunning work in Dangerous Liaisons (1988), a crime in itself, but not to be nominated for his role as himself and various versions of himself in the bonkers Being John Malkovich (1999) was nothing short of a travesty.

If I had my way, he would also have been recognised with a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his sterling work as Cyrus ‘The Virus’ Grissom in Con Air, but I can sort of understand why the Academy chose to overlook it.

8. Glenn Close

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Malkovich’s co-star in Dangerous Liaisons did receive a nomination for Best Actress, but was unlucky to come against Jodie Foster in The Accused.

That is just one of six nominations which have failed to materialise into a statuette for Close, so quit your whining, Leo.

When nominated for her bunny-boiling in Fatal Attraction a year before Dangerous Liaisons, she lost out to Cher, back in a time when Cher was a serious actress – and a good one.

9. Brian Cox

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Not only has Brian Cox never won an Oscar, he’s never even been nominated for one, remarkable when you consider he is in every film released between 1994 and 2015.

But just because he’s prolific doesn’t mean he’s not fantastic.

Cox’s brilliance stretches all the way back to 1986 and Manhunter, in which he played the original Hannibal ‘Lecktor’, and runs right up to 2008 prison drama The Escapist, which gives him a rare and deserved starring role.

With his output of two films per week, he’s bound to bag an Oscar soon.

10. Amy Adams

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Leo is also out-nommed by Amy Adams, quickly turning into the Meryl Streep of her generation. Unlike Meryl, however, Adams doesn’t have an Oscar.

What’s often forgotten about Streep is that despite winning two Oscars from her first four nominations, for Kramer vs Kramer and Sophie’s Choice, she then went on a 12-nod losing streak that was finally broken by 2012’s The Iron Lady. Three wins from 19 nominations isn’t that great a haul, bizarrely.

Anyway, that’s what could be ahead of Adams if she keeps up her success rate, following nominations for Junebug, Doubt, The Fighter, The Master and American Hustle.

It’s surely only a matter of time before she’s taking home an Oscar statuette.

The best and worst Bond villains from 23 movies

Posted in TOP FIVES with tags on December 5, 2014 by Ross McG

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We got some new Bond villains this week. Details of the next Bond movie – Bond 24 – were officially announced.

The film, which will hit cinemas next year, is called Spectre and will feature Daniel Craig as James Bond for the fourth time.

He will be joined by new cast members Christoph Waltz as Oberhauser; Monica Bellucci as Lucia Sciarra; Léa Seydoux as Madeleine Swann; Dave Bautista as Mr Hinx and Andrew Scott as Denbigh.

Waltz’s character is rumoured to be something of a ruse: he is expected to be the next Blofeld in Spectre.

Getting Bond villains right is a tricky science. If one element is just slightly out of place, you end up with a turkey – but get it right and you have Bond gold.

Here is the list of the worst and best Bond villains across the 23 movies in the series so far. Let’s start with the worst…

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David Fincher’s movies ranked from 1 to 9

Posted in TOP FIVES with tags on October 1, 2014 by Ross McG

Fight Club (1999) Edward Norton and Brad Pitt (Screengrab)

David Fincher’s new film, Gone Girl, an adaptation of the bestseller by Gillian Flynn, who also wrote the script for the movie, is out this week.

In a few years, it will be interesting to see where Gone Girl sits in Fincher’s body of work. Because in his case, it takes a few years and plenty of sittings to digest his films.

Some of them – most notably Fight Club – have been famously written off on release, only for critics to change their minds further down the watching road.

Film critics, eh? They haven’t a bloody clue.

Bloody clues are what Fincher’s movies are all about, and Gone Girl is no different. But what is the director’s best work to date? Begin the countdown.

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Jaws, The Monkees and Happy Gilmore: Richard Kiel’s best movie moments

Posted in TOP FIVES with tags on September 11, 2014 by Ross McG

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Richard Kiel, best known as the Bond villain Jaws, had died at the age of 74.

He will be remembered chiefly for sinking those steel teeth into anything that got in his way in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, giving Roger Moore’s 007 plenty to chew on.

Kiel made the most of his fame after his two James Bond adventures, riffing on his role as Jaws in a series of movies that followed.

Before Bond, he appeared in a number of US TV shows, including The Twilight Zone, Starsky & Hutch, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Lassie.

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Spared no expense… Richard Attenborough’s best bits from Jurassic Park

Posted in TOP FIVES with tags , on August 26, 2014 by Ross McG

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Sadly, Sir Richard Attenborough is no longer with us.

Moviegoers of various ages will have different memories of ‘Dickie’, both of his work behind the camera on films like Oh! What a Lovely War, Gandhi, Cry Freedom, Chaplin and Shadowlands, and his performances in front of it in Brighton Rock, The Great Escape, 10 Rillington Place and Miracle on 34th Street.

But for many film fans, Attenborough will always be John Hammond, the man who brought dinosaurs back to life in Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster Jurassic Park.

In Michael Crichton’s novel, Hammond is a bit of a nasty piece of work, whose main incentive from recreating dinos is to make a bit of cash. He also meets a bit of a sticky end. But in the movie, because he is played by loveable Attenborough, Hammond is more of a misguided figure, albeit one still obsessed with money (‘Spared no expense!’).

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The best orgasm scenes in movies

Posted in TOP FIVES with tags , , on July 31, 2014 by Ross McG

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Today is National Orgasm Day. Of course it is. It’s right up there with St Patrick’s Day and No Pants Day as one of the worst holidays ever.

What’s that? It isn’t a holiday? We don’t get the day off? Screw that. Uh… precisely.

Some people think cinema was invented (by Steven Spielberg or James Cameron – I always forget which one it was) to show us the beauty and sadness of life, to take us to new worlds, to fire our imagination. Rubbish.

Movies came, ahem, along to do one thing: depict lots of actors and actresses showing us their O face.

In honour of National Orgasm Day then, here are the best and worst orgasm scenes in cinema.

THE WORST:

Okay, let’s start with the drivel before we get on to the good, uh, stuff. And with most lists of terrible things, it begins with The Ugly Truth. Take it away Katherine Heigl… and take away my ability to forget about this awful, awful movie.

Don’t worry, we’re only going to subject you to one more bad orgasm scene. Amy Adams is a terrific actress. But she has one major blot in her copybook: Cruel Intentions 2: Cruels Control. Okay, so I made the ‘Cruels Control’ bit up, but it’s still terrible. And it has a terrible orgasm scene, in which Adams teaches her protégé the correct way to ride (sorry!) a horse.

 

AND NOW THE BEST ORGASM SCENES:

10. American Pie (1999)

The original has been so undermined by its 200 terrible sequels and spin-offs that it’s easy to forget just how good – and sweetly innocent – the first American Pie movie is – like The Inbetweeners for US yoofs before The Inbetweeners existed. Its signature scene shows just how good an actor Jason Biggs is – he only ever needs two takes.

 

9. Barbarella (1968)

Jane Fonda proves that machine is no match for woman in this quite literally steamy scene from the 60s sci-fi classic.

 

8. Bruce Almighty (2003)

If you woke up one day and realised you were God, wouldn’t you give your girlfriend an orgasm through a wall just by moving your hands? Seems only polite. Jennifer Aniston obviously took some notes from her former flatmate Courtney Cox when it comes (sorry! Again!) to carnal pleasures. Ugh.. I used the word ‘carnal’ – gross.

 

7. There’s Something About Mary (1998)

Yes there is, and there’s something hanging from Ben Stiller’s ear that he’s not aware of. As if women actually use hair gel…

 

6. Private Parts (1997)

The movie of shock jock Howard Stern’s life isn’t really that shocking, but it does contain a pretty memorable on-air-radio/at-home-with-vibrating-speaker orgasm scene. Couldn’t do that these days with Spotify.

 

5. Pleasantville (1998)

You probably know Joan Allen best for chasing Jason Bourne, but here she makes a splash in more ways than one during a bath in Gary Ross’s underrated comedy drama. This orgasm is so good it turns black-and-white into colour, a feat previously achieved only by The Wizard of Oz. No magic wand jokes!

 

4. Amélie (2001)

Audrey Tautou pervs over Paris. ‘Quinze!’ Brilliant.

 

3. A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

If only more Oscars were handed out for performances in comedies. Kevin Kline is brilliant as crazy Otto in A Fish Called Wanda, even when he’s having sex. Don’t call him Stupid.

 

2. Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (1997)

Not a real orgasm, but a great one, as Romy (Mira Sorvino) does some amateur acting to procure a car. ‘Oh Rrrrrrramone… You are Columbus and I am America – discover me!’ Talking dirty has never sounded so funny.

 

1. When Harry Met Sally (1989)

YES! YES! YES! More orgasm fakery now, and who other than Meg Ryan could top this list? Sally Albright is the one person you don’t want to be sat near in a restaurant… or maybe you do? We’ll have what she’s having.